SLED investigates fire cause

SLED investigators are listing the cause of Friday’s fatal fire as “undetermined.” Thomas Thiel, 43, died in the blaze on Center Street on Folly Beach.

State investigators were unable to determine what started a fire Friday that killed a man on Folly Beach, but local officials will continue to investigate.

The State Law Enforcement Division had been called in by Folly Beach Public Safety to look into the blaze that killed 43-year-old Thomas Thiel in an apartment at 81 Center St. early that morning.

SLED spokesman Thom Berry said the agency is listing the cause of the fire as “undetermined.” Berry said authorities did determine that there didn’t appear to be criminal activity involved.

Folly Beach Public Safety Chief Dennis Brown said the fire marshal is still conducting interviews and hopes to determine a cause soon.

Firefighters were called to the blaze at about 3:42 a.m., officials said. Thiel’s body was found in the apartment’s bathroom, according to Brown. He died of smoke inhalation, Charleston County Deputy Coroner Brittney Martin said.

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